FEMINIST FRIDAY: Films That Remind Us Why More Women’s Stories Deserve To Be Heard

A still image of Drew Dixon from ‘On The Record | HBO Max

Welcome to another Feminist Friday! That part of our week where we share 3 videos we are currently watching that are centered around an intersectional feminist theme. This week it’s all about the stories and lived experiences of women that often go unheard or ignored. Some are good experiences, and others are not.

The first video this week is the trailer for Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s ‘On The Record’, a film which is described by the New York Times as Black women’s perspective on the #MeToo movement, through the lens of women victimized by a high profile music executive. ‘On The Record’ presents the powerful and haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly name hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. The documentary chronicles not only Dixon’s story but that of several other accusers – Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher.

Made by the team who released ‘The Hunting Ground’ and ‘Invisible War’, this is a narrative that has been missing from the larger #MeToo conversation and it is about time we see a more intersectional approach to this movement (which was actually started by a Black woman!). If you have HBO Max you can watch the documentary now, but stay tuned for a wider release in the future. In the meantime, watch the trailer below:

The second video this week is a trailer for a documentary feature raising finishing funds through IndieGoGo (support female filmmakers!). ‘Tender Points’ is a film about fibromyalgia, primarily through the eyes of filmmaker Lina Alvarez who shares her own intimate journey with the condition.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by pain, tenderness, and stiffness of the muscles and joints along with fatigue and anxiety. There are 10 million people in the US that currently suffer from fibromyalgia, between 75-90% of those who suffer from this invisible illness are women. While there are many people suffering from this invisible illness, there is no known cure. 

After years of researching and trying numerous treatments, Lina randomly stumbled upon the work of Dr. Paul St. Amand through social media, who coincidentally practices a few miles from her house. She discovered that he prescribes his patients an over-the-counter medication that has the ability to reverse the symptoms of fibromyalgia. This prescription which includes a painful clearing process is called the guaifenesin protocol. Having exhausted every other means of relieving her symptoms, Lina decides she has nothing to lose by trying this scientifically unproven and extremely painful treatment.

Embarking on this 30 day trial, Lina hires a group of her friends who are filmmakers to document her personal journey. During the trial, Lina connects with other women from around the world on social media who are also trying the protocol. Ultimately, Lina’s journey is about spreading awareness of fibromyalgia, trying to make this invisible illness seen and giving hope to many.

You can support, donate and share the IndieGoGo campaign here, and watch the trailer below:

The final video this week is a trailer for a new upcoming documentary feature called ‘The Iron Hammer’, which tells the story of iconic Chinese volleyball figure Ping, known as the “Iron Hammer” for her powerful spikes, as she led the national volleyball team to a gold medal in 1984, before moving to the U.S. to coach Team USA to an Olympic silver medal in 2008. She then returned to China to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games Rio in 2016 as coach. She became the first in volleyball history to win gold as a player and coach.

The film was commissioned by the official Olympic channel and marks the channel’s first female-directed documentary – helmed by filmmaker and actress Joan Chen.

“I’ve been a fan of Lang Ping’s since we first met at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and have followed her career ever since. Many admire Lang Ping not only for her accomplishments on the volleyball court, but also for her unique combination of strength and grace that helped her to conquer new and foreign challenges. From her experiences in China to the United States, I consider Lang Ping a kindred spirit whose life journey intimately parallels my own. So when the chance came for me to direct this film and tell her story, I jumped on it,” said the actress in a statement.

This is the chance for the world to learn about a trailblazing woman in the international sports arena, and an opportunity for audiences to understand the value of women’s stories being told. Stay tuned for the release of the documentary on OlympicChannel.com later this summer.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: FEMINIST FRIDAY: '(In)Visible Portraits' Documentary Sharing The Stories Of Black Women To Debut On Juneteenth - GirlTalkHQ

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